Peking Duck?

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May 21st, 2005, 07:32 AM
  #1
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Peking Duck?

Our first night in China we are to dine on Peking Duck. Our friend who has traveled in China on business knows of at least two people who became very sick after eating the Peking duck and advised us against it. Any comments or suggestions from those of you who have been there? It does not say on my itenerary where we will be dining.
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May 21st, 2005, 08:42 AM
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I think it is very difficult to determine the cause of stomach ailments - whether at home or on the road. Maybe the Peking duck had absolutely nothing to do with it! Maybe it was the water that they accidentally used to brush their teeth that morning! We've had Peking duck in Beijing a couple times. Don't miss it! It'll be one of the best meals of your trip!
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May 21st, 2005, 04:09 PM
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Personally, we found the Peking Duck dinner served in Beijing to be dry, nearly tasteless, full of bones, and had very little meat. Highly overrated, expensive, and not nearly as good as some other dishes served.
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May 21st, 2005, 04:48 PM
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Sorry but I absolutely agree with USNR - we found the duck fatty and greasy. But then again when in "Rome".... it was actually more fascinating to watch the waiter refill your teacups with the long spout!!
Best peking duck? -- in Berkeley, California!!
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May 21st, 2005, 05:16 PM
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I'm really curious about Peking Duck now! Our dinner consisted of several courses. One was the meat from the duck, finely chopped and seasoned, to be rolled in the mini-tortillas along with match-sticks of cucumber and green onion. Next was the crispy skin and more meat, thinly sliced and attractively arranged on a plaste, to be put into the fluffy rolls. And lastly, the duck soup/broth, served near the end of the meal. All was very delicious. No bones, no grease. And not a bit of the duck was wasted! We also had a side dish of vegetables (Chinese broccoli, if I remember correctly), an appretizer of lotus root, and three beers (total). Our bill came to approx. $20 for everything. And there was more food than the three of us could eat! Unfortunately, I have not had Peking duck anywhere but in China, so I have nothing to compare it to.
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May 21st, 2005, 07:04 PM
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There are a few version of Peking Duck in China and around the world. Hong Kong and most of China they like the skin with fat and meat sliced and then roll in a crepe or pancake like thing with plum sauce, spring onion and cucumber added. In Southern China and some South East Asian countries they only use the skin with no fat or meat. As for the rest of the duck most restaurant offer a variety of dishes that they can cook, usually without charge, including minced duck, duck soup, duck with garlic and pepper etc.

Personally I like the skin only type and will have the duck meat cooked as 1 soup portion and 1 stir fried with garlic and pepper.
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May 21st, 2005, 11:34 PM
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We enjoyed the duck we had in Beijing, but ordering a whole bird for just the two of us was optimistic and left little room for anything else. I don't know why roast duck with simple accompaniments as described by OJudy would put you at greater risk than another meal - might have been one particular restaurant? Duck is usually fatty and might leave some stomachs accustomed to bland food feeling queasy.

We brushed our teeth with tap water twice a day for 3 weeks with no ill-effects (but this doesn't amount to a recommendation).
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May 22nd, 2005, 08:28 AM
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Thank you all for your responses. My friend said that it was because the duck is hung up for a long time. I think he was referring to a lack of refrigeration. I, personally, love duck but I know that it can be dry if not done right and has a tendency to be greasy. I think I will probably eat it and not worry!!!
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May 22nd, 2005, 05:43 PM
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Popular Peking Duck restaurants in Beijing sell hundreds of ducks each day, and they're always served fresh. [Cantonese roast duck is a different matter.] Therefore, I think this is an individual case, and is not a common problem.
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May 22nd, 2005, 07:28 PM
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rkkwan,
Thank you, you have given me some peace of mind!
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May 25th, 2005, 07:00 PM
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That's why you should try the Peking Duck at popular restaurant to ensure the duck is freshly roasted with steam. We never go to anyone aross the street (especially in tourist area). Simply check any local people dining at that restaurant.
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May 29th, 2005, 10:44 PM
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OK, isn't Peking Duck SUPPOSED to be greasy and fatty??? I don't think I've ever had it where it wasn't that way! I will admit some are more fatty than others. It all depends on where you go eat duck at.

As far as getting sick, it could have been the duck, or maybe not. Just remember, you take a chance with everything you eat in China.
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Dec 23rd, 2006, 04:14 PM
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So where is the best place to eat Peking duck in Beijing? The original Quanjude?
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Dec 26th, 2006, 12:51 PM
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E: Yes, are you going to eat a whole ducky by yourself? just kidding. Although there is a Quanjude in Shanghai on Huaihai Lu across from Sephora, I had to carry 2 vacuum-packed ducks from Beijing to Shanghai for DM since she claims the taste is different. I've ate at both but couldn't figure it out.

Chinese ducks are bred fattier than ones in the US, and eat duck when it's piping hot, cooled fat can make an iron stomach sick.

DMary: Where in Berkeley?
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Dec 26th, 2006, 01:34 PM
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Shanghainese: I always love the Peking duck I get here in the US. I mean, I really love it!! I was wondering where was the best place in Beijing to have it. (???)
I never thought of the issue of me being alone; are they always served for two people?

I don't really understand the issues the original posters had with duck in China unless they are not
accustomed to eating duck or unless the duck is very very different than the duck I've tried here in US and in HK.
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Dec 26th, 2006, 03:19 PM
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We had the Peking Duck set meal at Quanjude in Beijing. Our meal was very tasty and was exactly as OJudy described above. Note that we were asked how we wanted the duck served and we chose to have it carved at our table. I've recommended others to go there and haven't heard of any illness.
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Dec 26th, 2006, 03:57 PM
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E: Have duck at Beijing Quanjude, they are very accomodating and will figure out how to cater to a single diner.
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Dec 26th, 2006, 09:22 PM
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We ate at the Li Qun Roast Duck Restaurant, south-west of Tiananmen Square, and greatly enjoyed our Beijing* Duck. The place was extremely busy, obviously very popular with both locals and expats, and the first thing you see on entering is a large open brick oven full of ducks roasting.

One downside was that a whole duck with accompaniments between two people didn't leave much room for other dishes, although we made a fiar effort. I'm not sure if you can order half a duck. From memory we paid about 200 yuan all up, say US$25.

* Here's a scrap of information I picked up along the way: even if you spell it "Peking Duck" it's still pronounced "Beijing Duck". "Peking" is just the way an earlier English spelling system tried to cope with the syllables bei jing (north capital). That is, Peking never sounded the way it looks. Same with Nanking/Nanjing (nan jing, south capital) - it was always pronounced "Nanjing".
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Dec 27th, 2006, 04:16 AM
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Neil, thanks very much, both for the information on the duck and the "scrap!" Now at least I can make a stab at ordering a duck!

Shanghanese, Ekscrunchy will definitely be making the scene at Quanjude! Thanks.
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Dec 27th, 2006, 06:58 AM
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Question for Shanghaiese:

Which of the Quanjudes do you recommend in Beijing? I see where there are two in the Quanmen area, and one on Wangfushing....one of those is Qianmen is nicknamed "The Sick Duck" because it's next to a hospital (not a good sign!)..one is named "The Super Duck" because it's the largest resto...there is also one I recall we were taken to by the CITS guide back in 1984...then there is Bianyfang near the Capital Theater on Wangfushing which was recommended by a friend who just returned from Beijing...decisions, decisions...

Stu T.
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